New rules bring taxis, Uber under same umbrella

New rules bring taxis, Uber under same umbrella

Taxi companies and ride-sharing app Uber will now come under the same transport category under new changes to "outdated rules", the Government says.

The two business models had been classified differently, but the changes will mean they, along with private hire and shuttles, will now all be considered a small passenger service.

It follows a major review in to whether small passenger services sector is fit-for-purpose and can accommodate new technologies.

"Ensuring an effective small passenger services sector has a range of wider benefits for New Zealand and its economy, including using the transport system more effectively and helping to reduce congestion. With the existing rules for the sector being in place since 1989, a significant review is not before time," Transport Minister Simon Bridges says.

Smartphone apps and other technologies have revolutionised the sector, and the new rules will open up the industry to more competition.

Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss says drivers will still need a Passenger endorsement, which includes a police check.

He says it means consumers can feel safe no matter what option they choose.